The U.S. Department of Energy's Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility
Young Theoretical Physicist Named
Theoretical physicist Alessandro Bacchetta is the new Nathan Isgur Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellow. The award was established by Jefferson Lab and the Southeastern Universities Research Association as a memorial to the late Nathan Isgur, who served as head of Jefferson Lab's Theory Group and as chief scientist until his death in 2001. The program now continues under the Jefferson Science Associates, LLC contract to manage and operate Jefferson Lab.
The fellowship is intended to further the career of a young person displaying extraordinary scientific ability, allowing the recipient to pursue independent research in theoretical or experimental physics at Jefferson Lab. Bacchetta is the second young scientist to receive this fellowship, which is awarded for three years. The position is funded jointly by Jefferson Lab and the JSA Initiatives Fund.
He joined the lab's Theoretical & Computational Physics Division early this year. Bacchetta was selected from a group of four finalists (two theorists and two experimentalists) who gave invited talks at the lab and were interviewed by a selection committee of four JLab scientists and chaired by the lab's chief scientist, Tony Thomas.
The first award was made in 2003 to Evgeny Epelbaum of Ruhr-Universität Bochum. His fellowship ended in 2006, and Epelbaum accepted a joint appointment with the University of Bonn and the Forschungszentrum Jülich.
In Their Own Words – With Theorist Alessandro Bacchetta
Just after 10 a.m. on May 21, several hundred Jefferson Lab computer account holders received a suspicious e-mail. The e-mail appeared to contain a link to a special training procedure each person needed to complete to hold a type of Department of Energy badge......more
It is amazing how much we can accomplish if we set ourselves to doing something, notes Clarissa Freeman. A Hampton University student and JLab intern, Freeman speaks from experience.......more
When hurricane season began on June 1, Jefferson Lab started its advance preparations to ensure the lab's ability to quickly elevate its readiness should a storm threaten eastern Virginia......more
I was born in Grignasco, a small village of about 5,000 people in the north of Italy, the second child of four. I have an older brother and two younger sisters. Both of my parents were teachers – my father in math and sciences, he is still an active architect; and my mother taught the humanities, Latin and history. So education was always important in our family and there was always an appreciation for culture in our home. I had to choose what course I would follow in school when I was about 14, and there was no doubt for me that it would be the science curriculum. I have always been fascinated by understanding things; I've had the kind of curiosity that all children have, and – like many other scientists – that curiosity is still very much a part of me.
I attended the Università degli Studi di Pavia and had a wonderful time in this truly historical city. When I finished my degree there, I knew I wanted to continue to do research and was accepted at the Free University of Amsterdam where I completed my Ph.D. with my thesis on "Probing the transverse spin of quarks in deep inelastic scattering" under the supervision of Professor P.J. Mulders.
The decision to go to Amsterdam was a difficult one in some ways. Years before, I had met the girl who would become my wife, Lucia. She and I grew up in the same town. We met again at Pavia and fell in love. In order for us to complete our educations – she is in medicine – we made the decision to live apart for four years. From the point of view of our studies in science, it was a good one; from a sentimental point of view, it was very difficult.
I finished my Ph.D. in early October 2002, and we were married later that month. I received a postdoc position at Regensburg, Germany, and Lucia had just finished med school. She was able to get a job in a hospital there and to begin her specialty in general/internal medicine. It was the first time she had to follow me, and I'm lucky that she continues to follow me.
When I saw the posting for this opportunity at Jefferson Lab, I thought, "This is the position for me." I feel that in the coming years Jefferson Lab will be the best place in the world to study the hadron; and I knew I had a good curriculum, suited for this position. I received the offer in July 2007, but Maria was due to give birth and I asked if I could come after the new year, instead of in the fall. It was a big decision for us. Moving around in Europe is one thing, but moving to the United States is something totally different. After a few days of thinking, we knew that this was so good we could not turn it down. Lucia had originally intended to go back to work after the baby was born, but she quit her job to come with me. I'm very grateful to her for putting her career on hold for me.
We got here in February, and one of our biggest challenges was finding a pre-K school for Pietro since he was speaking German in school and Italian at home. We were lucky to find a good place for him at the school at Hampton University and he's starting to pick up some English. I had been to the United States when I came to Colorado for a year abroad during high school, but Lucia had never been here. It's been an adjustment for her and the kids, but they've already made some friends.
We have truly become citizens of the world. I believe that human beings are not made to live in a single place all their lives. We have feet, not roots. You just have to be a little brave to make the jump.
I am really enjoying being here and being part of this scientific community. We share many scientific goals and wishes. I enjoy my colleagues and am grateful for their experience, knowledge and insight. People are aware of the work I'm doing and I hope they will appreciate it. I think we [researchers] have an important role in shaping the global culture – similar to the role scholars had in shaping European culture during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.
I hope to accomplish as much as I can and use all the opportunities available to me.
As told to Judi Tull
Just after 10 a.m. on May 21, several hundred Jefferson Lab computer account holders received a suspicious e-mail. The e-mail appeared to contain a link to a special training procedure each person needed to complete to hold a type of Department of Energy badge. Within minutes, the JLab cybersecurity team was inundated with phone calls, e-mails and office visits regarding the e-mail.
The e-mail was part of a so-called "Red Team attack" on the lab. The attack had been sanctioned by DOE as a test of the cybersecurity programs at JLab and several other national labs.
"The e-mail looked very official and very compelling, like this was official DOE business just for lab staff. But if you looked closely at the address of the link that you were going to, the final word on the main part of the URL was '.net' rather than '.gov,' and this is characteristic of somebody who's passing off a link that they've established, wanting you to think that it's actually an official link," explains Bob Lukens, Information Technology Division computer security manager. "This is what is known as a spear-phishing attack."
Spear-phishing is the newest type of social engineering attack and is very similar to the more familiar "phishing" scams that e-mail account holders have gotten used to. In an ordinary phishing attempt, an e-mail scam message is blindly sent out to e-mail address holders. In a spear-phishing attack, the scam is targeted to a particular group of people or even specific individuals. In this case, e-mail account holders at several national labs were targeted.
"It was actually a copy of a legitimate DOE website and a DOE e-mail that went out to users at other facilities some time ago," says David Bianco, security analyst.
As soon as the cybersecurity team was notified of the e-mails, they took action. "Within minutes of receiving the first notification, we had blocked the outgoing link that people might click on. And minutes later, we had a mail filter in place, so that we would be blocking incoming messages that had the same content. E-mail delivery is fast and in the end, there were about 380 messages delivered to people onsite," Lukens says.
Of those, some did click the link in the e-mail, and a few submitted information to the fake website. These actions could have exposed an account holder's computer to a downloaded virus or malware. This time, no harm was done. But JLab's cybersecurity team warns against falling for future spear-fishing e-mails.
"If it looks like something that may be legitimate, but you think it's a scam, you can forward it to the Help Desk. But if it looks like a scam, it's probably a scam," Bianco says. He also recommends not clicking on a suspicious link to investigate, since this action alone could trigger a download of malware or falsely indicate that an account holder has been suckered into a potential scam. A far safer policy is simply to forward the e-mail to the Help Desk (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Meanwhile, Lukens credits JLab's e-mail account holders for their quick response to the suspicious e-mail.
"It was really the e-mail account holders that responded very quickly that helped us rapidly detect this problem and respond appropriately. So the users have done a good job on this."
For more information on how to identify and thwart a spear-fishing attempt, visit http://www.sans.edu/resources/securitylab/spear_phish.php
By Kandice Carter
It is amazing how much we can accomplish if we set ourselves to doing something, notes Clarissa Freeman. A Hampton University student and JLab intern, Freeman speaks from experience.
She graduated from HU in May with a bachelor's degree in physics and a wealth of experience gained while working as an intern in JLab's Radiation Detector and Medical Imaging Group.
"I'm passionate about science," she says, "and I'm very attracted to the human side of the radiation detector group's medical imaging developments."
Freeman first got excited about science while attending elementary school in Springfield, Ill.
"The school system was looking for ways to improve academics and get more students interested in math and science," she recalls. "The PTA was interested in making the school I attended a math and science magnet school. The teachers and the curriculum placed a lot of emphasis on exposing us to math and science outside the classroom."
Freeman got swept up in the excitement of learning, but her world was turned upside down one morning when she woke up unable to move. She was diagnosed with a form of spina bifida that threatened to leave her paralyzed. What followed were years of surgeries, physical pain, wheel chairs, rehabilitation and medications.
Freeman ended up missing the first two-and-a-half years of high school due to her health problems. During that time she relearned how to walk and taught herself pre-calculus from a hospital bed.
"When a lesson would get really difficult or confusing, I'd start asking the nurses and doctors if they could explain it to me," she remembers.
Freeman made it back to the classroom for her senior year, recalling, "It went pretty well. I really liked science and I was very interested in biology. I enjoyed doing experiments."
With high school behind her, Freeman decided to attend Hampton University and major in biology. "My parents were concerned about the distance from home and my doctors," she recalled, "but I decided that this is what I wanted to do."
During her first week at HU, Freeman attended freshman orientation, where she heard professors talk excitedly about their work. It was then that she decided to minor in physics, which eventually became her academic focus even though it presented a huge challenge.
"While I'd taught myself pre-calculus, I had missed so much of high school and teaching myself math had been so difficult that I hadn't pursued calculus. Now I was going to have to catch up on the math I lacked. It wasn't easy," she says. "During that first year I spent any free time I had in the library studying. I just kept telling myself that I could do this."
It was also during her freshman year that Freeman learned about the Department of Energy's Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internships program. She applied, was accepted and was a SULI intern at Jefferson Lab after her freshman and sophomore years, working with Stan Majewski, head of the Radiation Detector and Medical Imaging Group on a dual-headed compact gamma camera system. When her internship ended, she got permission to stay on as an unpaid intern so that she could continue working with the group.
"I hadn't finished the project. I really wanted to finish this project," she explains. "For the last two years I've come in as the workload dictated, and my class-work allowed."
The dual-headed scintimammography unit she helped develop is now at the University of Virginia for clinical trials. Working on the device and other projects has made her aware of the myriad requirements needed to bring a new piece of equipment into a medical environment."Most people have no idea how many different types of concerns and safety issues must be addressed," she says. "Science is a large and vast world and there are so many things you can do with it. Some people think: I can't do science because you can't make mistakes. But you can make mistakes and you can learn a lot from those mistakes."
When hurricane season began on June 1, Jefferson Lab started its advance preparations to ensure the lab's ability to quickly elevate its readiness should a storm threaten eastern Virginia.
For more information regarding the lab's hurricane preparedness and response activities, visit the lab's Emergency Management webpage and review the Severe Weather Procedures, Appendix 3510-T4 in the Environment, Safety and Health Manual.
Every expert on hurricane preparedness stresses the importance of planning ahead for evacuation, shelter-in-place and other options that people may need to take on short notice.
Below is a checklist provided by the National Hurricane Center of the National Weather Service.
Family Disaster Plan
Below the Fold
But where the nucleus of the atom is concerned, the quirky laws of physics are a little different. There, an attraction between the positively charged proton and the neutral neutron holds the nucleus together.
Sometimes, a proton and a neutron may get even closer, forming a brief pairing, a phenomenon known as a short-range correlation. A proton can also pair with another proton and a neutron can pair with another neutron. For simplicity, scientists refer to both protons and neutrons as nucleons.
Oddly enough, these pairs of nucleons are the main source of high-velocity nucleons in nuclei. It's thought that when the nucleons get too close, they violently repel each other, and fly off at high speeds in opposite directions.
"We've known for a very long time that there are nucleons that are moving very fast in the nucleus. It's a kind of puzzle in nuclear physics, how these fast nucleons acquire their high velocity," said Eli Piasetzky, a professor at Tel Aviv University and a spokesperson on the experiment. "One resolution was that they were going very fast because they were getting very close to each other, and we wanted to check this."
Previous experiments at JLab have shown that roughly one-fifth of all nucleons in the nucleus were in a short-range correlation. To learn more, Piasetzky and his colleagues, following a theoretical prediction by Mark Strikman and Leonid Frankfurt, set out to directly and simultaneously measure the constituents of the short-range correlations.
The experiment was conducted in Jefferson Lab's Hall A. In the experiment, a beam of energetic electrons was sent into a thin sheet of carbon. The scientists were interested in the electrons that struck protons engaged in a short-range correlation.
The deflected electrons and struck protons were measured in Hall A's High Resolution Spectrometers. The partners in each short-range correlated pair, protons or neutrons, were measured in the BigBite large acceptance spectrometer and a neutron detector.
"These correlated nucleons have a high relative momentum. If you knock one out one way, the correlated nucleon will fly out in the opposite direction," noted JLab Staff Scientist Doug Higinbotham. "We set up our detectors to take advantage of this."
The experiment found that for almost every high-momentum proton kicked out of the nucleus, there was also a nucleon detected in the opposite direction. That means that the main reason for nucleons having high momentum is the fact that they are members of a correlated pair.
Moreover, most of the protons kicked out were accompanied with neutrons going in the opposite direction. The experiment showed that there are 18 times more short-range correlation neutron/proton pairs than proton/proton pairs in a carbon nucleus. The carbon nucleus has an equal number of protons and neutrons.
"It shows, for the first time in a very clear and unambiguous way, this fact that the large momentum nucleons in nuclei are coming in pairs. And they're coming mainly in proton/neutron pairs," said Piasetzky.
Higinbotham agreed. "The result from this experiment is like finding that missing piece needed to finish a puzzle. This experiment, combined with others, gives us a very coherent picture of these short-range correlations in the nucleus."
Calculations of this effect in recent theoretical work by Misak Sargsian et al. and Rocco Schiavilla et al. indicate that it is robust and does not depend on the exact parameterization of the force between nucleons, the type of the nucleus, or the exact ground-state wave-function used to describe the nucleons.
When combined with a theoretical calculation of the effects of proton/neutron correlations on the momentum distribution of the nucleons in neutron stars, the result also indicates that the presence of short-range correlations may have a disproportionately large effect on neutron star structure.
Now the collaboration members are looking to extend their studies of short-range correlations. "We want to push to the limit where they start repelling each other and try to understand this – to see what happens to two nucleons when they are even closer," Piasetzky said.
The experiment collaboration includes more than 60 members from 31 national and international institutions. The collaboration was led by Doug Higinbotham and Steve Wood (JLab.), Shalev Gilad (MIT), John Watson (KSU) and Eli Piasetzky (Tel Aviv U.). Three graduate students: Peter Monaghan (MIT), Ran Shneor (Tel Aviv U.), and Ramesh Subedi (KSU) analyzed the data as part of their Ph.D. theses. This work was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy; the U.S. National Science Foundation; the Israel Science Foundation; the U.S.-Israeli Bi-national Scientific Foundation; the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and the Science & Technology Facilities Council.
By Kandice Carter
This story was featured recently on Jefferson Lab's main webpage: https://www.jlab.org/news/articles/protons-pair-neutrons-eurekalert
Virginia state Sen. John C. Miller visited Jefferson Lab June 3 and toured the facility.
Miller, representing Virginia's 1st District, visited Jefferson Lab to gain a better understanding of the lab's research program and its economic impact on Virginia.
He took the opportunity to tour the accelerator control room (Machine Control Center) one of the Lab's cavernous end stations (Hall A) where physics experiments are run. He also visited the Free-Electron Laser and Dilon Technologies, a medical imaging company that licenses JLab-developed detector technology and is based in the Applied Research Center.
Miller learned about JLab's advances in its scientific mission, the study of the building blocks of the nucleus of the atom. He also received information about the planned upgrade of the JLab's research capabilities and its impact on the future of U.S. science. Additionally, he heard about the lab's applied-science experiments at the Free-Electron Laser facility.
Miller was impressed with the depth and breadth of JLab's basic science and technology transfer programs and with the unique nature of the facilities that JLab provides to the research community.The 1st District includes all of Poquoson and parts of Hampton, Newport News and York County. Miller was born in Bryn Mawr, Penn., and has degrees from Northern Illinois University. He is an administrator with the Virginia Electronic Commerce Technology Center and became a member of the Virginia Senate in January 2008.
In mid-May, the Virginia Mathematics and Science Coalition presented its "Programs That Work" award to five teacher programs across the commonwealth. This award is given out every five years. The Department of Energy's Academies Creating Teacher Scientists (ACTS) program at Jefferson Lab was one of the five programs recognized. Virginia Secretary of Education Thomas Morris, who spoke on behalf of Gov. Tim Kaine at the awards presentation, recalled his meeting with ACTS teachers last summer during his visit to JLab.
Jan Tyler, JLab's Science Education manager, attributes much of the program's success to the "tremendous volunteer support – year after year. The scientific and engineering staff members that work with the teachers have long-lasting effects on the teachers and their students. The combined efforts of the JLab community have created an environment in which staff are allowed and encouraged to participate in the lab's science education programs."
For additional information about ACTS and other teacher and student enrichment programs conducted at Jefferson Lab and other DOE facilities, visit these links: http://education.jlab.org/indexpages/program.php
Terahertz Applications Symposium, June 4-6, in Washington, D.C. - drawing 100 attendees from nine countries and 19 states.
"It is significant to note that this conference has grown strongly year by year, and is the only conference in the field that is dedicated to cross-fertilization of industry, academia and government agencies," says JLab's Gwyn Williams, of the Free-Electron Laser Division.
Copies of the presentations from all 24 speakers may be ordered online at www.sura.org/thz.
The event is sponsored by SURA. This year, for the first time, there was a small trade show with industrial sponsors from seven companies: the Institute for the Development and Commercialization of Advanced Sensor Technology (IDCAST); Mictotech Instruments; Teraview; Toptica; T-Ray Science; Virginia Diodes and Zomega.
The conference has spawned a number of collaborations both within the industry, and between industry, academia, government agencies and research laboratories, and is an important aspect of the meeting, according to Williams. Five years ago, there was no major THz technology in the industrial arena. Since then it has been used in trials in quality control applications in the aerospace, pharmaceutical and medical industries. Many such applications were reported this year, in addition to several research groups' reports on advances in basic science with THz.
A highlight of the meeting was the deployment of passive sub-millimeter imaging systems, with two companies showing dramatic images of security screening at airports and company warehouses.
Featured at the meeting was the ongoing work of the THz Research Group at JLab, presented by Mike Klopf, who run's JLab's THz lab. The Free-Electron Laser at JLab houses the world’s most powerful broadband THz source, generating tens of watts of power, a million times more powerful than the nearest competitor.
The conference was originated by Matt Thomas, then business development manager of SURA, after extensive discussions with JLab staff, including Williams, following the demonstration of high-power terahertz (THz) in the infrared demonstration Free-Electron Laser at JLab."Thomas built up the conference almost single-handedly through extensive personal interactions with the main proponents," Williams notes. "We wish Matt good luck as he leaves SURA and hands over the reins to Marc Oettinger."
The Department of Energy recently launched a new Internet feature that provides tips to consumers on how to make smart energy choices to save money while protecting the environment. The interactive webpage shows consumers steps to use less energy with household electronics, lighting, and appliances to save on monthly bills and how to avoid wasting energy by improving the energy efficiency of their homes and cars.
The site also features the DOE's work to develop cleaner, more affordable, diverse, reliable and sustainable energy sources supporting the President's goal to stop the growth of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 2025 while meeting increasing energy demands.
DOE and its 17 world-class national laboratories, in partnership with private industry and universities, perform cutting-edge research to meet these challenges and develop innovative energy solutions in areas such as cellulosic biofuels, solar, geothermal, nuclear, and clean coal power. Other areas of emphasis include DOE's work to make a smart and efficient electric transmission grid, make homes, buildings and industrial sites more energy efficient, and reduce dependence on oil with plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and hydrogen-powered cars. For more information, visit the DOE website.
The On Target newsletter is published monthly by the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (Jefferson Lab), a nuclear physics research laboratory in Newport News, Virginia, operated by Jefferson Science Associates, LLC, for the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science. Possible news items and ideas for future stories may be emailed to email@example.com, or sent to the Jefferson Lab Public Affairs Office, Suite 15, 12000 Jefferson Avenue, Newport News, VA 23606